The Stephen King Ka-Tet Thread

“We are ka-tet. We are one from many. We have shared our water as we have shared our lives and our quest. If one should fall, that one will not be lost, for we are one and will not forget, even in death.”

I figured I’d start this thread for the other King fans here. I hope there’s not already one that I missed.

Currently re-reading Revival and I’m glad I did. I’m picking up so many details that I didn’t originally. I must have gone through too quickly the first time.

The rice dance.

I attempted a re-read of the DT series this summer, but crapped out during The Waste Lands. I should jump back in.

For me, it’s always Wizard and Glass where I hit the wall.

For me it’s Song of Susannah. I’m just a lot less interested when they’re in NYC. Absolutely love the series though

Is that awesome shootout in Maine in Song of Susannah? Everything blends together for me with the final three books.

I absolutely adore the entire dark tower series and can not wait to reread it sometime. The way King tells stories within stories is masterful and I cannot get enough of it.

King’s always a very fast read, it’s one of his strengths.

The Dark Tower is an interesting literary work, if for nothing else than the way that it tortured King while he was trying to finish it.

I recall reading the first 3 books as a kid. At the end of the Wastelands, the book says, “Coming soon, ‘Wizard and Glass’!” So I went to the bookstore to get it, and of course it wasn’t there… and it wasn’t there for like, I dunno, many many years. And then I guess King got hit by a car or something and almost died… then he finished the series.

The end of the Dark Tower seems kind of rushed… especially the final sequence with the Crimson King. I recall being extremely disappointed with this guy who was supposedly destroying all of creation just being a shrieking idiot. I think on some very real level, King just wanted to finish the series and be done with it.

Some folks didn’t like the ending, but I did. Was kind of hopeful, if not a clean resolution.

It was interesting that when he finally finished the series, he went on a tear and wrote a bunch of other books.

Yep, this was my situation. When I finished The Waste Lands, I was in High School. When W&G came out, I had finished college! That’s a long damn time to find out what the hell Blaine was gonna do to our Ka-Tet! Of course, I think the wait is what made the series enjoyable as a whole. Sure, it’s cool to be able to binge the entire series at once, but there’s something to be said about digesting one and then taking a (forced) break before continuing.

I’m gonna guess that I’m the only one that prefers The Stand with the edited material put back in.

I did not realize this was a thing:

On wiki, they mention:

The production filmed in British Columbia, Canada from September 2019 to March 2020. The production completed filming a few days before it would have been shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That feels somehow appropriate.

I like the cut material, especially The Adventures of Trashcan & The Kid. I DO have a problem with updating the setting to the 90’s, especially since there are so many subtle 70s references made in the music, the styles of fashion that King describes, etc. It’s jarring.

I read everything King wrote until about 1987. Firestarter, the Stand, Carrie, Night Shift, Different Seasons, all the rest, had all been hugely formative for me. When Tommyknockers was released, it was so terrible, and frankly the previously released IT had been a disappointment, that I took a hiatus on King pretty much forever. I did read through Wizard and Glass, but found the Dark Tower series underwhelming. Personally, I just needed to branch out. Also, I wanted to read French and Russian literature since sitting in the subway reading Gogol on the D train to Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn was such a magnet for babes. 🙄

I realize the late-80s was Kings writing nadir in some capacity, as he was dealing with his various addictions. I’ve only recently started to dip back in, reading 11/22/63 and If it Bleeds. Aside from that mediocre run in the 80s, King has always had an amazing, and thoughtful, and dare I say fun, literary voice it’s been a pleasure to become reacquainted.

I’ve had The Dark Tower on my to-read list for a while, but haven’t yet gotten started because (1) it seems really long, (2) I wasn’t sure it was actually finished (or would be), and (3) I’m wary of a Wheel of Time situation where the author gets so involved in his own book-churning-process that narrative progression starts to resemble Zeno’s paradox. (Point 3 does not have much supporting evidence other than some comments a friend of mine once made about it starting to drag.)

So, King-o-philes, should I buck up and dive in? This thread is making me think I should.

Read the gunslinger.

If you don’t like that, then you won’t like the series… but it’s a very cool book, and I think it hooks a lot of folks. It’s crazy that King wrote it when he was something like 23, on some paper he found in the library.

I would. The story is complete, and while the quality may have some dips later, its such a fast and easy read that you can consume it all very quickly. If you’ve read a lot of King’s other works, there are a ton of easter-eggs / crossovers with his other work that ties all the stories into a larger multiverse that might be particularly rewarding.

I’d give it until The Drawing of the Three. That’s where King really hits his stride. The Gunslinger can be a tough nut to crack for some readers.

I found the Gunslinger to be so different from everything else King had written, and that’s exactly what drew me in. I just re-read the first 5-6 pages, and its hard to not read more - but it’s fair to say that it’s a bit different to be dropped into a story where you haven’t yet learned the vocabulary of the world, so have to learn on the fly. It’s certainly easier on subsequent reads.

Gunslinger is hands down my favorite King novel. It almost felt hypnotic to me the first time I read it. Just a fantastic job of world building by using little details.

Finishing the series clearly took a toll on King. Probably a good thing the internet wasn’t as expansive or nasty in 2000, I imagine there would have been a lot of people loudly debating if he would ever finish it (A Song of Ice and Fire style).

I liked the ending and overall the last book. Showdown with the King was definitely underwhelming, but Dandelo and Mordred were good villains. Good departure for Susannah. And overall I just really like the depiction of Roland. He’s not some gallant knight errant. He’s been trained since birth to be a killer. He’s dedicated his entire life to reaching this tower on a Captain Ahab like journey. By the end he is old and broken.

All a little blurry for me too. There was a big shootout at the “Dixie Pig” in NYC which was I think very early in book 7?

Hmm guess I need to do a reread.